Mizzou basketball has a lot of guards, but several forwards can play both roles, and the Tigers plan to use their versatility this season.
The Mizzou basketball team didn’t have a lot of options at forward last season. If the Tigers chose to have some players in that role this season, they’ll have a lot more to choose from.
Mizzou graduated Kevin Puryear, but Mizzou will replace him with a load of guards and forwards who can play the wing in freshmen Tray Jackson and Kobe Brown. The pair will team up with second-year Tigers Torrence Watson and Javon Pickett to help the Tigers out this season.
Jackson was the Tigers’ top recruit this year. He was ranked No. 56 in in the country according to ESPN, and averaged more than 13 points and five rebounds a game his final year in high school.
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The combo forward has good size at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, but he can play outside. Jackson can shoot the 3 ball at about 40 percent, and that’s something the Tigers definitely need this season.
Brown is another freshman who looks to grab plenty of minutes this year. Brown stands 6’7 and weighs 240 pounds. Yes, he’s another newcomer who can knock down a 3-point shot, and averaged nearly a triple-double his senior year. Brown averaged eight assists a game last season, and that’s something Mizzou basketball missed out on in 2018.
Pickett started all 31 games he played in last season, and expect the sophomore to remain in the starting lineup.
With he freshmen battling for one of the other other starting roles, Pickett surely looks like he’ll be the No. 3 on the team. The 6’5 guard averaged 7.7 points last season for the Tigers, and improved over the course of the season. Pickett was better athletically than he got credit for, and he’ll build on that as he moves into his second season.
Watson countered Pickett’s offense with a lot of 3s of his own. Watson knocked down 53 treys last year, a Mizzou freshman record. With a lot more shooters on the court this season, Watson could get more space to work with that’ll free him up for what he does best.
Parker Braun is the last wing on the roster. The 6’8, 217-pound forward was a redshirt last season but earned a scholarship this year. Expect Braun to take up some minutes for the Tigers this year.
Mizzou won’t use as many forwards this year as it did last year. It’s possible the Tigers can use Pickett and Watson at the same time, along with two of their guards and play the small game. But even when one of the freshmen come in, coach Cuonzo Martin won’t have to switch up too much. The Tigers have a versatile group here, and that’s good for what Martin wants for this team.